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Report from Germany #2

Another story from Hamburg
Hello,
There was a student demonstration today, protesting the EU's desire to privatize education. We all met at one of the university plazas and waited until we had enough people. On the way there I felt my weak American heart sink at the sight of 25 police vans waiting outside the university. When we marched out of there we only got a few hundred feet into the city before we were stopped. The police were saying that the permitted student march could not proceed because there were people against the G8 amongst the crowd.
Eventually the let us go but we had to change our route. Soon the black clad police faded into green clad riot police with their cute little white helmets. They boxed us in completely all the way into the inner city. We passed through big commercial areas, a van with a diesel generator, speakers and mixing board spewing out energy all the while.
When we got to the inner city, where most of the tourists and monied types and big banks and shopping centers are, we found barricades and water cannons all around us. The green riot police joined up with the olive(?) colored police with shields and together they stopped us in the middle of a busy shopping area. After they let us continue we found water cannons and riot tanks blocking every side street we might want to head down.
Two people were arrested for no reason. Otherwise it was calm.
However, it revealed, to me at least, what we are going to be up against on Monday. They dont want an incident downtown where all the nice, decent people will be shopping. The German media reported that there will be snipers on the rooftops when the EU ASEM summit takes place in order to "protect the delegates". I'll try and get people out here to send video and their accounts to the US.

PS. Last night's riot, from the accounts I have heard, was unprovoked. Not that it really matters. A blast of water to the face is still a blast of water to the face.


Until next time,
Annie Nimmety

Wasserwerfer 26.May.2007 20:49

Birte

while the U.S. has a 'nonviolent' tradition at marches, where it is very shocking and gets into the papers if any scuffle occurs at a demonstration, Germany now has a tradition of controlled and predictable pseudoviolence (and some real violence, against the right-wing etc.). Every demo seems to end with the water cannons, but nothing really scary usually happens, like the police suddenly opening fire with wooden bullets at the docks in Oakland, Tacoma, or in MacArthur park, LA. Look through the old newswire postings of  http://de.indymedia.org They also always have really professional style signs, and most participants really know their issues (as opposed to coverage of american peace demos where the press emphasizes a nonpolitical person who has never gone to a protest before until they finally got mad enough.

pictures 27.May.2007 04:59

antifa

taken in the night to saturday - cops in front of the Rote Flora Hamburg and St. Pauli Football Fans partying on the streets

pics from may the 28th. 29.May.2007 03:52

d-d-d-

barricades were built. riots. 150 police men in mediacal treatment because of their own tear gas.

pics from may the 28th. 29.May.2007 03:59

d-d-d-

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